Austin took some time to define the essential brand for Tio as a drinkable soup that replaces a meal. According to Heaton, “Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service.”
Review the definitions below:
CHANNELS: Describes how a company communicates with and reaches its Customer Segments to deliver a Value Proposition.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS: Describes the types of relationships a company establishes with specific Customer Segments.
Think about branding in relation to your “big idea” and answer the prompts below:
Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone
Austin’s realization that Tio should be seen as a “meal replacement” had many implications for marketing and branding the product. The product is now marketed in a small, single-serve bottle, it is shelved alongside other ready-to-eat foods, and the packaging highlights Austin’s story and the soup’s tastiness. The brand focus on taste has led to a marketing practice of in-store sampling, accompanied by temporary price cuts and coupons. Although this is a costly approach for a small company, those locations with this practice have shown a sharp spike in sales, followed by a steady increase in longer-term sales. As the company grows, in-store sampling may not be a sustainable way to reach customers, but for now it works to promote the Tio brand.
1st classmate to respond to
Jocelyn Johnson RE: Week 7 DiscussionCOLLAPSE
Hello Dr. A. and Classmates,
The majority of our channel focus has drastically shifted to social media. This was not the case pre-pandemic, however, when forced to stop sending little girls door-to-door to sell cookies and reach out at public schools, one must catch up on technology and change the game plan. Our main focus is on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, however, my marketing plans for this project will include radio (less expensive), streaming options, Pinterest, and a new Tik-Tok channel. Marketing includes a wide array of outreach options to reach people who are likely prospective customers, as we read this week (JWI575, 1).
Our Customer Segments for Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) expect a constant flow of information and awareness sharing and aren’t shy in letting you know if you didn’t provide the details swift enough for them to react or implement a plan to use them. For example, our councils and troops, require program information and are hungry, some might even say, starving for examples and best practices of other councils and troops in execution. Our Girl Scouts (K-12) like to see themselves in the spotlight, and we have responded by using real Girl Scouts instead of models pretending to be Girl Scouts on over 90% of our materials. We also feature Girl Scouts as they conduct service programs in STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship. The opportunities to share these stories are plentiful with almost 2M members and 50 M Alumni (Girl Scouts, 2).
My questions and uncertainties about the brand are associated with my newness to the Girl Scout organization and the culture of the GSUSA staff and the Board of Directors. I do wonder if the efforts that my team and I are embarking will truly be supported by the entire organization and that I can build a coalition with more than two people on the executive team. We want to uplift the iconic brand we serve and position the organization as a fresh, new, and fulfilling experience for girls around the world, all centered on making the world a better place (2). The brand promise we espouse and strive to develop should build trust and rapport with our prospects and move towards a commitment to purchase your product or service and growth as an organization in the very near term (1). Our challenge is to differentiate and set our organization apart as a whole, not just the cookies and the programs (Lienwand, 3). If ever there were a VUCA moment, a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous moment for a marketer, I’m living in it today!
1. JWI575. 2021. JWI575 New Business Venture & Entrepreneurship. Week 7 Lecture Notes
2. Girl Scouts of the USA. 2021. Girlscouts.org. About Section
3. Lienward, P. & Mainardi, C. 2016. Harvard Business Review. “Your Whole Company Needs to Be Distinctive, Not Just Your Product.” Online: https://services.hbsp.harvard.edu/lti/links/H02WGE-PDF-ENG
2nd Classmate to respond to
Malgorzata Perotin RE: Week 7 Discussion COLLAPSE
Dear Dr. A. and Class,
I have to say it’s hard to believe that we have almost completed 2/3 of the course. I hope everyone is doing well.
How will you reach the necessary Channels to communicate with your prospective Customer Segments?
As Guy Kawasaki points out, once you know your business model, understand the value proposition of your offer, and who your ideal client is, then it is time to figure out where you can meet them on social media and what can you share that they will want to read and talk about (Kawasaki, 1).
Social media are the best channels in the current economy to communicate with your prospective client segments. They are free and easy to create profiles and communicate on.
My client segments are women entrepreneurs with service businesses who are early in their journey. Their age ranges from 25-55, and social media are the best channels to meet them.
The largest one is Facebook. It is a social media platform that every demographic uses. The platform has a few “subchannels”: FB business profiles, personal profiles, groups, and chat. The best subchannel for my prospective clients are Facebook Groups and chat for more private conversations. Women create groups that become meaningful online communities to people (McLachlan, 2). Being a member of many of those groups and having my own with over 3200 members are excellent channels to share valuable content and have meaningful conversations with my ideal clients. It allows me to build relationships, educate them on my value proposition, establish expertise and ultimately sign clients.
The other two social media channels I use to communicate with my prospective clients are Instagram (Sehl, 3) and Pinterest (Sehl, 4). Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms, and Facebook owns it. Facebook has many useful tools, such as Creator Studio, that allow you to create and preschedule posts on its platforms. Even though Pinterest is a much smaller channel than Facebook and Instagram, it attracts many women in my client segment. They spend more time on the platform looking for inspiration and ideas in areas of their interest. It is a great platform to raise brand awareness and share valuable content that your potential clients can save and refer back to.
Two new social media channels that I am planning to expand to in 2022 are LinkedIn and Clubhouse. The reason why I am planning to expand in 2022 and not now is time. With no corporate role, with MBA completed , I will focus on growing my marketing reach then.
Clubhouse is one of the newest social audio apps founded last year. Its audience is primarily from the US and other English-speaking countries. The topics covered are business, technology, science, sports, and music (Brito, 5).
Outside of social media, another channel that I use to connect with my ideal clients is networking events. During Covid times, most networking events moved from in-person to online, which opened the doors to meet people from other geographical areas outside of my own. I reached them via sites such as Eventbrite or MeetUp, where different interest groups and online communities advertise their meetings. Networking meetings are great for expanding and build lasting connections and relationships (JWI 575, 6). They are good channels to find new clients and build a referral network.
The additional two channels I use are my website (www.stairwaytoleadership.com) and a blog, as well as the Diamond Effect Podcast. Reaching those channels requires owning a domain and paying a relatively small fee for hosting.
What type of relationship does each of your Customer Segments expect you to establish and maintain with them?
My customers expect a relationship built on trust, support, and value. No matter the industry, there are some common things every customer expects to be present in a relationship such us: understanding of their needs, offering new perspectives and ideas to solve them, listening and collaboration, instilling security and confidence in the results our solutions bring, communicating at an individual level even if it is through content, and offering high-quality, unique valuable solutions (James, 8).
I also found an article depicting well what coaching clients expect, whether it is in free “marking” content (to a smaller degree) and paid services. It described three main areas of coaching relationship: transactional (such as building new skills or improving the existing), transformational (personal growth as a leader), and accountability to implement things clients and coach work together on consistently (Nieuwenburg, 8). Here’s a screenshot of the graphic presented in the article.
What questions or uncertainties do you have about the brand you would like to create?
The brand I would like to create is one that is based on three core values: courage, excellence, and simplicity. It is a brand that helps women become courageous and confident leaders of their businesses who deliver excellent services to their clients. One that teaches them skills in simple, understandable ways so they can easily apply them and achieve results much faster than if they tried to get there themselves. A brand that understands their passion and the unique value they bring while helping them shine it through and communicate it to their clients (the Diamond Effect concept).
Just as Guy Kawaski suggests (1) and Tio Gazpatcho’s story shows (JWI575, 9), my brand evolved its value proposition since I started my business. It will keep evolving as I grow, gain more experience, and learn more and more about my potential client segments.
There is always uncertainty if my brand and the promise it carries will resonate with enough customers to scale the way my business plan is projecting. The first trials and tests look promising, so with the prepared strategy, lots of doing, learning and course-correcting as needed, I believe it will (Kawaski, 1).
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